Editor-In-Chief Hyoe Narita
Company VIZ Media
Issue April 2009
Teaser/Reader Annotation Shojo Beat is a magazine devoted to the types of manga that became so popular with female teenagers in Japan that they have crossed over into English publication, to the delight of the American fanbase.
Plot Summary The Shojo Beat magazine is a manga anthology with its primary content being manga chapters. There were six different manga featured in this issue: Haruka, Honey Hunt, Vampire Knight, Sand Chronicles, Honey and Clover, and Crimson Hero. There was also a bonus content chapter which included an exclusive preview of the new manga Tail of the Moon. It was obvious these titles were aimed at a female audience with their romantic story lines and less-action filled plots. The glossy pages before and after the book page manga chapters feature articles relevant to manga culture, latest fashions and trends in Japan, and video game and manga reviews. One unique feature at the end of the magazine was a section featuring photographs of American teenagers spotted on the streets dressed in Japanese-inspired fashions. A defining feature of Shojo Beat was the section of the magazine devoted to directing American fans to websites where they can purchase rare merchandise based off their favorite mangas or even buy copies of the full volumes.
Critical Evaluation Shojo Beat started in 2005 and was marketed as a sister publication of VIZ's existing Shonen Jump magazine. The latter was directed towards the young adult male audience and achieved such popularity that the company decided to launch the female based companion. Due to the bad economy, the final issue was released in July 2009, but the magazine is in such popular demand that the library has made an effort to keep copies around and maintain them for longevity of use. In 2006, the magazine became the first American manga anthology to switch to using cyan and magenta ink for the pages rather than black-and-white. It was a wise decision not only because it mirrors the traditional format of Japanese manga magazines but it makes for crisper images than the other which, like a newspaper, smears with time and use. It has since added more vivid colors. Another interesting characteristic of the anthology was the summary of past plot events present before the individual chapters to remind readers what happened previously.
About the Editor-In-Chief I could not find any information on Hyoe Narita except that he or she is the current executive vice president of VIZ Media and that he or she attended Keio University, according to a LinkedIn profile.
Primary Genre Manga
Curriculum Ties N/A
Was the use of book paper for the actual content effective? Would it have been better if they used the same paper throughout?
Reading Level/Interest Age Grade 9+
Challenge Issues None.
1) Become familiar with book and its content.
2) Refer to library's collection policies.
3) Refer to professional reviews.
4) Refer to the ALA Library Bill of Rights.
Why is it included? This was a very popular manga magazine aimed at young adult teens who are often under-represented in the genre.